- Bank account withdrawals you don't recall making
- Missing bills or other mail
- A merchant refusing your check when you are not at fault
- Calls from collection agencies about debts that aren't yours or charges you were unaware of
- Unfamiliar accounts, charges, or inquiries listed on your credit report
- Medical bills or insurance claims for services you didn't receive
- Notices from the IRS that more than one tax return was filed in your name when you try to file taxes and/or get your refund
- Income reported on your tax return from an employer you did not work for
- A notice of a data breach from a company with which you do business or where you have an account
- Being notified of applications for loans, credit lines, or credit cards you did not apply for
Review Your Credit Reports
Federal law mandates you can receive one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Get your credit reports annually, and review them thoroughly to ensure all the information is correct and up to date. Keep an eye out for any red flags that could indicate identity theft, such as unfamiliar inquiries or accounts and addresses you don't recognize. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to order your free credit reports.
Four steps to take if you suspect you have become a victim
- The first step you should take if you suspect you have become the victim of identity theft is to call your financial institution immediately. Contact your bank as well as your credit card companies, and let them know you have found evidence of theft or fraud. Close your financial accounts.
- Next, report the suspected theft or fraud to your local police department and fill out a police report. This will formalize your case, and start you on the road to remedying the situation with your creditors. Be sure to get a copy of the police report and note the report number for when you speak with financial institutions and the credit bureaus.
- Contact the three credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. They will flag your account and put a fraud alert on it, letting potential creditors know that new credit can't be given in your name without your approval.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) to report the identity theft to the federal government and fill out an ID theft affidavit that will help you communicate with companies, financial institutions, and creditors about what happened.
First Commonwealth Bank and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
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Infinex and First Commonwealth Bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.
*We do not provide tax advice. Consult your tax advisor.
*Diversification is a method of controlling risk. It does not assure a profit or the avoidance of loss.
**Dollar-cost averaging is a method of controlling risk. It does not assure a profit or the avoidance of loss. Investors should consider their ability to continue a dollar-cost averaging program in periods of declining markets.